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Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are a way to protect both workers and employers when a workplace injury occurs. When a worker gets hurt or becomes ill due to the work they perform, workers’ compensation provides payments for medical expenses and lost wages. An injured worker who is eligible for benefits will receive compensation no matter who is at fault. In exchange for this protection, the worker loses the right to sue the employer for damages.

Basic Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

The three basic eligibility requirements to collect workers’ compensation are that you must be an employee, your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance, and the injury or illness must be work-related. In Illinois, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are some special rules covering domestic workers, casual or seasonal workers, farm workers and workers placed by a temp agency.

You Must be an Employee

When it comes to Workers’ comp, not all workers are employees. In particular, independent contractors are not covered employees. In some instances, true employees are misclassified as independent contractors by their employers. When an injury occurs, these disputes usually end up in court.

The Injury or Illness Must be Work-Related

Generally speaking, if you become injured or ill while you are doing something that benefits your employer, then the injury or illness is considered to be work-related. For example, if you injure your back while unloading a truck where you work, or you become ill after being exposed to toxic fumes at a work site, you are eligible for workers’ compensation.

There are some restrictions when it comes to claims. Your workers’ compensation claim will most likely be denied if you were injured while horsing around with your co-workers or if you were intoxicated at work.

If you Become Injured 

If you become injured at work, and your employer tries to dissuade you from filing a claim or says that you are not eligible for benefits, you should consider reaching out to a qualified Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer. Employers and insurance companies routinely attempt to dismiss claims in an effort to reduce costs.

Additionally, if you have sustained a serious injury due to faulty equipment or as a direct result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to additional compensation. At Shea Law Group, we have extensive experience with workers’ compensation claims and we are prepared to help you. Give us a call at (877)-365-0040 today to discuss all of your options.